top of page

Bears Make Late Night Splash for Chargers' Wideout Keenan Allen

In a stunning late-night blockbuster, the Chicago Bears have traded for Los Angeles Chargers star wide receiver Keenan Allen, sending their fourth-round pick (No. 110 overall). The initial news was broken by Fox NFL's Jay Glazer, with the compensation coming from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport later reported that the Chargers approached the six-time Pro Bowler about a pay cut with his $23.1 million due in 2024. Allen refused to accept a pay cut, and with Los Angeles' horrible cap situation, the Chargers shipped Allen to Chicago to pair with D.J. Moore.

Bears GM Ryan Poles said in a press release after Chicago announced the deal: "We're extremely excited to add Keenan to our team. His body of work speaks for itself and we look forward to him elevating our offense."

Allen fits perfectly as the No. 1B to Moore's No. 1A as not only a big-body wide receiver but as someone who can get yards after the catch, as he finished 14th among receivers with 396 YAC yards. In a "down season," where Allen missed four games, he still put up 1,243 yards, seven touchdowns, 11.5 yards per catch, and had a long of 42 yards. Allen has spent all 11 years of his career with the Chargers up to this point and racked up the second most receiving yards (10,530) and receptions (904) in franchise history.

The former Cal Bear is one of the smoothest route-runners in the league, constantly getting separated from DBs, and plays well in the intermediate area of the field. There are concerns with Allen's health, especially at this age, but in five of his last seven seasons, he has topped 1,000 yards receiving. Allen also reunites with current Bears wide-receiver coach Chris Beatty, who held the same position with the Chargers from 2021-2023, where Allen had a combined 280 catches for 3,133 yards and 17 touchdowns.

This move has many implications for the Bears going forward, including the rest of free agency, the draft, and expectations for the 2024 season. Let's start with the free agency portion; even with this move, this does not preclude the Bears from investing in a WR3/WR4 to compete with Tyler Scott, who is slated as the No. 3 receiver. Josh Reynolds, Hunter Renfrow, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are viable and relatively cheap options for that spot. This also makes the other edge rusher position the biggest need for the Bears. They have addressed safety, WR2, center, and running back in free agency or via trade.

In the draft, they will use the No. 9 pick as a trade piece to acquire more picks, especially if the Denver Broncos or Las Vegas Raiders want J.J. McCarthy and don't want him to go to the other team. As for the team, despite only giving up a fourth-round pick for Allen, this is a win-now move that puts Chicago's sights on a playoff spot, if not competing with the Lions and Packers for the NFC North crown.

As for any clarity on what the Bears will do with the No. 1 pick with this move, it doesn't seem much clearer. If the Bears staff decides to roll with Fields for one more year (more likely at least two years with the 5th year option), he is set up to have the best offensive line and weapons in his three seasons. If they decide to roll with Caleb Willaims at No. 1 in the draft, this is one of the best scenarios ever for a rookie No. 1 overall pick. Greg Braggs of CHGO made a great point on their emergency podcast that Ryan Poles is trying to recreate what Patrick Mahomes had in Kansas City when he started: a star-studded cast of weapons (Tyreke Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt), a strong offensive line and an excellent offensive coaching staff to mold a rookie QB. Now, if the Bears draft Willaims, he won't sit for a year like Mahomes did, and Andy Reid is a much better offensive mind than Shane Waldron, but the conditions for a young QB to operate in would be very similar.

Regardless of where you fall on the Fields vs. Caleb debate, all Bears fans can be happy about this monster trade for one of the best wide receivers in the league. Let's enjoy what is hopefully a preview of what Allen does to the NFC North by watching his 18-reception, 215-yard day against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3 from last season.

Main Image via The Athletic


bottom of page